The United Fresh Produce Association came out with a report indicating strong numbers for fresh produce sales for the second quarter of 2019. The FreshFacts on Retail report evaluates retail prices and sales trends for the top ten fruit and vegetable commodities. The quarterly report also takes into account organic, value-added and other produce categories.
Agnetwest.com quoted United Fresh’s Vice President of Member Services, Miriam Wolk, as saying: “At a time when the total store growth remains challenging, consumers’ demand for healthy and convenient eating options represents a unique growth opportunity for players in the retail and consumer packaged goods industry. Fresh food categories are favorably positioned to capitalize on both these trends.”
Second-quarter vegetable sales totaled $7.68 billion, an increase of 5.3 percent from the same time last year. Conflicting sales of individual commodities resulted in an overall decline of fruit sales to a total of $8.16 billion, a decline of nearly one percent. Both strawberries and oranges experienced declines in sales value and volume. Avocado sales increased more than ten percent to $639 million, while volume declined by seven percent.
Mixed vegetables experienced an increase of more than seven percent in volume to 27 million pounds. The category also grew by eight percent in sales to a total of $106 million. Broccoli sales grew by more than 15 percent and volume increased nearly 14 percent. Celery demonstrated the strongest growth in both volume and sales value. Sales increased close to 27 percent to a total of $28 million, while volume grew nearly 24 percent to 11 million pounds.
Fresh produce sales of organic products increased by nearly four percent. Vegetables increased more than two percent in volume and fruit grew by a little more than three percent. Some of the organic products that experienced the most growth from last year included multiple berry products. Raspberries increased by nearly 28 percent, blueberries increased more than 15 percent, and strawberries increased 11 percent.